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Royal Mistress

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  937 ratings  ·  118 reviews
From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father
Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  937 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Although Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of Edward IV, is known for her perhaps unscrupulous catching of Edward’s eye; he is more so to blame if looking at his track record of sexual debauchery. Anne Easter Smith follows the course of Jane Shore, his last and possibly most well-known, concubine in “Royal Mistress”.

Immediate credit must be given to Smith’s inclusion of a list of characters forthright which clearly depicts which are true to history and which are fictional. This is quite useful for
3.5 stars

Despite the fact that few details of the private life of Jane Shore are actually known, she has nonetheless been the subject of a number of plays and historical novels, including The Goldsmith’s Wife by Jean Plaidy, and now this, the latest novel from Anne Easter Smith.

Born Elizabeth Lambert, Jane was born into a reasonably well-to-do merchant’s family, and was married to William Shore, who was – like her father - a mercer by trade (and not a goldsmith as had been believed until fairly
Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
Thing is, I really wanted to like this book. It has a lot of elements of books I enjoy: English royalty, fascinating historical period, lots of descriptions of clothing, outsider perspective (you don't get much more outsider than a commoner mistress), but it never really coalesced for me.

Jane Shore is the "favorite mistress" of King Edward IV, he of the Wars of the Roses. She rose from being a commoner, daughter of a merchant (portrayed here as running a fabric shop) as she gained the attention
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a well written, fascinating look at a woman caught between powerful men at a very tumultuous time in history. Ms. Easter Smith knows how to draw her reader into her characters’ worlds so you almost feel as if you are right there with them.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anne Easter Smith is one of my favorite authors. She writes stories that take place in one the time periods in England I enjoy reading about. When I saw this book as a goodreads giveaway, I was so excited to discover I had won it. As soon as I received it in the mail, I was literally jumping for joy. This story takes place during Edward IV rule of England. For those who know the history, even though he was married to a beautiful woman and had many children by her, he had an appetite for woman ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jane Lambert is the daughter of a textile mercer. At age 22 she is unmarried. Her parents, especially her pious and controlling father wants her to be married and out of his home. Any sexuality in his view is despicable and sin. When he looks at his daughter his eyes show hatred. On the other hand Jane's younger sister Isabel is the father's darling. Jane is happy to be unmarried; although she pines for love, or rather a lover who will sweep her off her feet and out of the controlling
The Lit Bitch
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Jane! She was spunky and charming all at the same time. I could easily identify with her as a reader and wanted to read more about her love life. I was captivated by her and was rooting for her to find love especially after such a loveless marriage with William Shore.

This book stated off a little rocky for me. I felt like I was just dropped into a story without a lot of preamble. For me personally, the very beginning of the novel was a little disorientating and rough, but once
Jani Brooks
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Jane Shore, Edward IV's mistress. Told from her perspective, we get to see down and dirty how difficult it was for a woman of intelligence, wit, and beauty to survive on her own. Does Jane set out to be a concubine to the king? No, she wants what others have - an adoring husband, and children. But her father marries her off to a much older man who is anything but lusty! There are few choices in Jane's era, and when she catches the eye of one of Edward's closest advisors, as ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love stories - including historical novels- about the 'whore with the heart of gold'
From Rahab, the harlot to heroine who hid the Hebrew spies in Jericho to Julia Robert's Pretty Woman. I have long loved Mistress Jane Shore, described as 'the merriest whore in court' the beloved mistress of Edward IV
Jane Shore appears in the 1955 Laurence Olivier of Shakespeare's Richard III , played by Pamela Brown, in a role where she appears but only speaks one line 'Good morrow'
Jean Plaidy's The
Jill Lapin-Zell
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Anne Easter Smith has done it again.

As a huge fan of Anne Easter Smith’s, I eagerly looked forward to reading “Royal Mistress” after thoroughly enjoying each of her previous novels. I have yet to come across an author who makes history and its characters come alive the way she does.

This is the story of Jane Shore, the favored mistress of Edward IV. It is a compelling story about not just the mistress of a king, but much more than that. It is the story of a multi-faceted and intriguing woman who
Kelly A.
Anne Easter Smith writes fascinating historical fiction about some of the most intriguing characters. People that you only read about in history books beautifully come to life in the pages of her books, and her newest, Royal Mistress, is no exception!

Royal Mistress mainly follows Jane Shore, a simple merchant's daughter who catches the eye of the Queen's son, Tom Grey. They are both married (or are about to be married) and Jane doesn't want to stoop to being his mistress, so they part ways.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is my second novel by Anne Easter Smith, the first being Queen by Right. In this tale Ms. Easter Smith tells the story of Jane Shore, Edward IV's last mistress. Jane was the daughter of a mercer (basically a fabric seller) who was apparently beautiful, smart and born into the wrong time. Smart women were not fully appreciated in a time that saw them as not much more than brood mares. Her father married her off to another mercer but they were not well matched and she soon caught the eye of ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Royal Mistress is an absorbing tale about Jane Lambert, the daughter of a mercer who becomes the mistress of King Edward IV and other noblemen in the fifteenth century. Born with the gift of beauty, Jane easily turns heads and attracts the attention of every man she encounters. When she meets Thomas Grey, the Marquess of Dorset, Jane falls irretrievably in love. He betroths her to William Shore, a much older, but wealthy merchant. Jane soon discovers her husband is impotent and her eye begins to ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
------ I received this book from Edelweiss and the publisher for my honest review-----

I have eagerly read all of Anne Easter Smith’s books. Ever since I found and read The King's Grace I jump at any chance to read one of her books. And I have to say that Royal Mistress was a joy to read. Once I started I couldn't stop till I finished the book. I like learning about Jane Shore, after all I have known of this lady from reading other books about King Edward and so I knew who she was but not really
Viviane Crystal
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jane Shore lived a harsh life! Rejected by her father, married to an impotent mercer, loved by many men but chosen by King Edward, she was grateful for the favors of her King. Londoners and members of the Court grew to respect her because of her many acts of charity and care for those far less fortunate. Jane is not one to involve herself in the political intrigues and betrayals of the Court, but she does relate them without bias. After Edward's untimely end due to his own decadent lifestyle, ...more
Marie Z. Johansen
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

Tales of Jane Shore abound; Mistress to King Edward ,and Lord Hastings, scorned harlot who, under Richard III was forced to walk through London in her chemise holding a candle in repentance of her harlotry, but aside from Vanora Bennet's 2009 e"Figures In SIlk", the life of Jane Shore has not been the subject of much attention by writers. Perhaps that's because of the dearth of extant records about this fascinating woman, but in "Royal Mistress" Anne
Kate Lawrence
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lately I've immersed myself in the Wars of the Roses period of English history, and this was another informative and enjoyable read. In her Author's Note, Smith writes, "From mid-April to July 1483 are four of the most confusing and puzzling months in English history," and this period continues to fascinate. Novels about it that I've read are Daughter of Time (a classic by Josephine Tey) and A Rose for the Crown (also by Smith), as well as the nonfiction book Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the ...more
Rio (Lynne)
May 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Typical AESmith. This was about Jane Shore...the famous mistress of Edward who had to walk through the streets of London in her undergarments as punishment for being a whore. I enjoyed some pages and skimmed some pages. It dragged on. AES is an author who proudly supports Richard III and she doesn't hide those feelings. Overall ehhh.
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Nope, not a winner in my books. I didn't like Edward in this, and despised Richard. Author tried a bit too hard to make sure Jane was the plucky heroine.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel... very sad it's over!!!
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine Cazeneuve
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Anne Easter Smith is a terrific author. She keeps the story flowing and it is hard to put her books down. I didn't know really anything about Jane Shore other than what I had read and saw in the White Queen series. She does not come across as a woman you like in that scenario. Once you have read Royal Mistress you see what a strong woman she is and what she did to survive. It shed a whole new light on Mistress Shore and I look forward to reading more.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My audible, good story. Jane married to an impotent husband. Will friend of king Edward, sees her and wants her for his mistress. She becomes Kings mistress for 8 years. Then Williams. She married a lawyer of King Richard.
Melanee Gomez
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked this book, but I am a huge admirer of Elizabeth Woodville and feel like this book talks poorly of her and makes Jane Shore seem more loved and important han she would have been. She was a meddling mistress and shouldn’t be as praised and I felt this book was.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I usually enjoy Anne Easter Smith. However, this might have been on my TR list for too long... and too many other books about Ed, Elizabeth & Richard in between. Just didn’t find the depth of characters or plot I was expecting. This is really 2.5 rounded up. ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
tremendous research by the author
Elizabeth Larson
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read...another book I could not put down.
Peggy Conroy
Fiction! Insert some different names and same story! It would have been interesting to read about janes influence on the men in the story
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
European Royalty: Royal Mistress, Overall 2 27 Sep 05, 2013 06:48AM  
European Royalty: Royal Mistress, Part 4 through End 6 31 Sep 05, 2013 06:44AM  
European Royalty: Royal Mistress, Part One 16 60 Sep 03, 2013 01:13PM  
European Royalty: Royal Mistress, Part Two 6 26 Aug 05, 2013 03:57PM  
European Royalty: Royal Mistress, Part Three 1 7 Jul 18, 2013 07:05AM  

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A native of the UK,
Anne Easter Smith is an award-winning historical novelist who has lived in the US for more than 40 years. Her four novels about the York family during the Wars of the Roses are published by Touchstone at Simon & Schuster. She was the Features Editor at the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, NY for 10 years, and her writing has been featured in a number of national magazines.
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